Friday, May 24, 2013

The Sweet Side

It's been a few weeks since I sat to write. I am on an extended personal vacation of sorts, and it has been such a blessing.  In the midst of the vacation, we are tending to a number of plates still spinning away, but a few plates have been taken down off their sticks and have been put away for the next few months.  A season to partially exhale.  Grateful.... 

This morning I awoke with a keen awareness of God's presence.  We mused together over a few things.

One of those things was the importance of human touch. Often, those in families take for granted the gift of human touch, after all we are often surrounded by those we love. As I sat with God this morning, my thoughts went to the widows/widowers and the divorced --  those who once freely gave and received human touch, but perhaps now don't have that blessing  readily around anymore.  Oh, how my heart ached for those in such positions.  And then my mind traveled to those who are single.  They have the anticipation of experiencing human touch, but let's be honest, they do not have a guarantee of it on a daily basis.

I recall a special visual permanently fixed in my mind that occurred about a week ago. My children and I were  running into the grocery store when my two eldest children spotted one of their peers from youth group coming towards them.  Without hesitation, the young man and my eldest son extended hands and did the "manly hug" move.... hard to explain... but if you have ever seen two manly men shake hands and bring it in, forming an "X" in the front of them as they "chest/arm bump" and firmly smack one another with the other hand on the back -- you know what I witnessed.  Unabashed exhibited friendship.  I stood as a mom and smiled, thinking, "Thank You, Lord, they get it."   To love one another in both word and deed.  You just don't see much love properly exhibited anymore, do you?  Sad really.  As a result, I hope you'll be on the look out today for someone in need of a kind word and a gentle touch.  And for those of us with families, make sure you hug your loved ones today while you are gifted the opportunity! 

The other thing that just really struck me this morning was just how much truly goes into raising honorable, civic-minded, in-love-with-Jesus young people.  It's certainly not a part-time job! In this precious season of renewal and reflection I echo a dear, dear friend's remark, who is now an empty-nester, made just a few weeks ago as we sat together, chatting and laughing at the days gone by.  "Deb, I look back and wonder how DID I do it!?  No, no - I mean it!"  Mixed in the laughter was truly a sense of wonder.  She had done it, of course with God carrying her on His wings at times, and I was still doing it with God carrying me on His wings at times. This morning I just had this overwhelming sense of wonder; it is such a profound gift to raise a family with God at the helm.  I marvel at the blessing.  

Today, no matter what surrounds your life I pray you take a moment, and if needs be, force your vision to see your glass at least half FULL.   It makes absolutely no difference what stage of life you are in, what is going on in your life, what job you have... or don't have. Make no matter what some one's life appears to seem.....every moment of every life is like a coin.... always possessing both sides.  (I've yet to come across a one-sided coin.)  On one side is the sweet and on the other is the bitter.  Every moment you live, you me.... have a choice upon which side you will focus.

A few years ago, I typed out and printed  Philippians 2:14-16.  I gave a copy to each member of my family with the instruction that they were to read and meditate on it daily.  About a year ago, I took my copy and posted it on the cabinet in our home that contains the  glasses and coffee mugs.  In other words, the cabinet that everyone accesses several times a day.  It has been a wonderful tool to remind us as a family to guard both our attitudes and our mouths.

Are you guarding your attitude and your mouth?  It is amazing what happens when we line our actions up to OBEY God's commands.  Note....this is a command...not a mere suggestion:

The sweet side of the coin; it's a grand thing to focus on! 

Have a blessed Friday, everyone!  May you have a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend!

Love to you!

Monday, May 6, 2013

A shift to summer!

Last Wednesday, my children wrapped up school for the year, finishing 10th, 9th, and 5th grades!   They did great scholastically, but in addition to those excellent grades, they grew so much in maturity this year! 

Well, Thursday morning, we rolled out of the bed and were on the highway in less than an hour's time. VACATION time had arrived!  Can anyone say "drive through and coffee"??  Yeah, baby!

As the car rolled to a stop at the beach, the children bailed out of the car, and quick as lighting  itself, unpacked the car, changed into swimsuits and hit the beach with boogie boards and skim boards in tow.

Shortly after setting up on the beach, a pod of dolphins (at least six of them!) swam through the surf -- not but just mere feet away from us!  Brian and I were sitting on the shore and saw them in the waves - just before the waves "broke," as if we were looking at the side of a fish tank.  They circled around, making for themselves a feeding ground.  What an amazing thing to witness up close!

The following day we hit the beach in the morning, and the movie theater in the afternoon.  Thereafter, we shopped some local specialty shops and had supper at a wonderful oceanfront restaurant. Superb view and yummy food.   (I neglected to take pictures! Oy!)

Saturday morning was a treasure seeking morning.

Followed by an afternoon of boogie boarding.   It was a "beach bum" kind of a day to be sure!

Sunday, we took a day trip to some beautiful gardens in a relatively nearby city.

Massive tree dates back to 1545

After enjoying the gardens, we took a ferry ride to a quaint little fishing town, sought out a coffee shop, had an afternoon snack, and knocked around a few more shops. 

Today, we'll head home after we hit the beach one last time.  What a wonderful transition this has been from the school hustle to summer!

You all have a blessed day!
From my family to you,

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